Asif Ali refreshes MS Dhoni’s gun-shot celebration after hitting four sixes, sends Twitter in frenzy
Asif Ali did an MS Dhoni in more ways than one in Pakistan’s Super 12, Group 2 match against Afghanistan in Dubai on Friday. Despite coming in to bat at a difficult situation when the required rate was already over 10, he kept his composure, even denied a single to back himself – Dhoni traits – to clear the ropes and did it not once but four times in the 19th over to seal Pakistan’s five-wicket win.
And after hitting the winning runs with a six, something which Dhoni has done multiple times in his career, Asif Ali brought out the gun-shot celebration. Yes, the same gun-shot celebration, which Dhoni had done way back in 2005 after reaching his century against Sri Lanka in Jaipur.
Fans were quick to find the similarities in Asif’s celebration and the one Dhoni did 16 years ago in the third India vs Sri Lanka ODI.
Dhoni had scored an unbeaten 183 – his highest score in ODIs – to help India chase down the 299-run target with 23 balls to spare. Asif did not score a century but the way he batted, it is likely he will get there soon. He almost immediately used his bat to form a ‘gun’ and celebrated Pakistan’s win.
Asif Ali, who has already hit 7 sixes in this World Cup in just two innings, scored a swashbuckling 25 off 7 deliveries, which included four sixes against Afghanistan medium pacer Karim Janat in the 19th over when Pakistan needed 24 to win in 12 balls.
“He (Asif Ali) is known for this. He has played many innings at the PSL (Pakistan Super League). So I was very confident he’d get us out of any trouble we find ourselves in,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said after his team scored a hat-trick of wins to stay on top in group 2 points table. “I was confident pre-tournament itself that he would deliver when needed.”
Reacting to his blazing innings, which came a couple of days after his important knock in a chase against New Zealand, Asif said, he backs himself to clear the ropes.
“Yes, I knew that there was a single, but I had confidence that I will hit sixes and score the needed runs,” Asif said.
“They did not bowl towards the shorter boundaries but I hit him towards the longer side.”
Asif said he had been practising batting under such pressure. “My job is to hit sixes, so I practise in scenarios based on situations, needing to hit sixes in the last five overs type situations,” he said.